Ben 10 Eco Challenge V8 4×4 Adventure Tour
1st – 7th December 2024

R 16,994

for 1 vehicle – 2 persons

(more price options below)

1st – 7th December 2024

Join us for a 6-day journey of guided 4×4 tour adventure, discovery, history and pass driving as we tackle the many challenges of the Ben 10 Eco Challenge through the mountains of the Eastern Cape Highlands. This is the only official Ben 10 Tour available where you are guided and connected by VHF radio. The tour takes all the pain of planning, organising accommodation and meals out of your hands. It’s a case of arrive and enjoy the challenge and earn the badge!

We have extended this tour by one day and split the first (previously) very long day into two halves.

December is in the rainy season, so you can expect muddy conditions with little dust and fabulously green scenery. We book overnight stays in the best available accommodation (invoiced out separately).

Vehicles that can participate:

  • 4×4 only, with low range and reasonable ground clearance.
  • No novice drivers for this tour.
  • We recommend having 4×4 insurance in place whilst on the tour.

More info below.

First select only the number of adults in your vehicle, to calculate your tour price:

Number of children under 18
Product total
Options total
Grand total
SKU: MPSA-TB10-v8 Category: Tags: ,

Join us for a 6-day journey of adventure, discovery, history and pass driving as we tackle the many challenges of the Ben 10 Eco Challenge through the mountains of the Eastern Cape Highlands. This is the only official Ben 10 Tour available where you are guided and connected by VHF radio. The tour takes all the pain of planning, organising accommodation and meals out of your hands. It’s a case of arrive and enjoy the tour and earn the badge!

If you missed out on the first seven fully-booked Ben 10 Tours, this is the perfect opportunity to have your part in this incredible 4×4 tour adventure! Travelling under the expert guidance of Trygve Roberts who continued to develop and improve this unique tour, MPSA is proud to announce:

Version 8 – the second tour using the new format where we will be removing three passes (Ben MacDhui, TTT and Barkly Pass), and introducing three new gravel challenge passes into the mix.

We will, of course, be driving the new 10 Challenge Passes, PLUS several bonus passes!


The tour kicks off on Monday 3rd December 2024, and finishes on the evening of Saturday 7th December 2024.

Other points of interest include:

  • David se Kop (2500m),
  • Vulture colony at the Castle,
  • Historic Loch Bridge,
  • 7th & 8th Rail Reverses at Tierkrans,
  • New England,
  • Wartrail,
  • Dangershoek,
    Funnystone River Valley,
  • Lady Grey,
  • Tsomo River Valley,
  • Gatberg,
  • Rhodes Village and many other unofficial passes.

 

The tour has been designed to provide a perfect cocktail of breath-taking mountain landscapes, enthralling local history, and the very best in challenging gravel-road driving!

At the end of the tour, you will be presented with your official Ben 10 finishing-badge.

 


BEN 10 4×4 TOUR ITINERARY

RENDEZVOUS

Sunday 1st December 2024

Meet and greet at Mountain Shadows Hotel near the summit of the Barkly Pass from 14.00. Registration, radio fitments, tyre deflation and drivers briefing at 18.00 followed by dinner.

Monday 2nd December – 274 km

Day 1 of Ben 10 Eco Challenge 2023

08.30 Departure on the first leg. We will route to Barkly East and drive the stunning back gravel road through beautiful farms like Olympus and the Lammergeier Nature Reserve to ascend Jouberts Pass (Challenge Pass #1) with a summit stop to enjoy the distant views of Lady Grey.

From Lady Grey we head south via the Benjaminshoogte Pass (Tar) where we will see the first and second historic rail reverses, then take the R392 south towards Dordrecht to drive one of the new Ben 10 Challenge passes – the Heuningneskloof Pass (Challenge Pass #2) Our route then follows the R396 northwards, where we intersect with the tarred R58 and return to our base via Barkly East.


Tuesday 3rd December – 150 km

 

Ben 10 Eco Challenge 2023

Departure 08.30
Descend the Barkly Pass and route via the Tsomo River Valley (and at least two washed away bridges via drifts to the lower end of the Otto du Plessis Pass (Challenge Pass #3). After summiting the pass we return via a different gravel road to Barkly East (refuelling point) and back to base at Mountain Shadows Hotel.

In the afternoon, if the weather is clear, we take a drive up to The Castle, to view the vulture colony. This is an amazing experience which you will remember for the rest of your life. The viewing site is at a high altitude with sweeping views over the Tsomo River Valley. There are upwards of 60 breeding pairs roosting in the sandstone cliffs.

Don’t forget your binocs!


Wednesday 4th December (40 km)

 

Ben 10 Eco Challenge 2023 - Bastervoetpad Pass

Depart at 08.30
Weather dependent, we often use this as our “spare” day. If the weather is OK, we will head up to David se Kop – a 2500m high peak sporting a Sentech/Telkom tower which is visible from the hotel, but we have to take a roundabout route to get there. The views are amazing and cover 360 degrees. Gradients on the access road get steeper than 1:4.

If the farm owner Sarel Vorster is home, we might be able to persuade him to drive to the top of the mountain with us, where you can ask him questions about farming and the history of the area.

For those that need a day to recharge their mojo batteries, this will be your choice to join the group or not.


Thursday 5th December (110 km)

Ben 10 Eco Challenge 2023

Depart at 08.30
This is the big one. We dedicate the entire day to the Bastervoetpad Pass (Challenge Pass #4). If all goes well, we usually get back quite early, but if there are punctures, recoveries, road building or mechanical issues, it can take a lot longer. This is a highly technical pass to drive and requires intense concentration for at least 5 hours.

The rewards are many with some of the best scenery in South Africa featuring a brace of spindly waterfalls cascading down the green clad slopes of the Drakensberg. You’ll think it could be Switzerland. It’s cake tin beautiful.

The four bridges near the eastern end have been washed away or damaged, which will add a bit of extra spice to the adventure.

On this day we include the Bottelnek Pass and a lovely drive through the PG Bison forests past Gatberg. We drive through Elliot where we will refuel. We return to Mountain Shadows Hotel for celebrations and war stories and an extended happy hour, more good food and a drift-away to lala-land.


Friday 6th December (280 km)

 

Ben 10 Eco Challenge 2023

Departure 07.30
The start is a little earlier on this day as we have a lot of ground to cover. Our route takes us over the historic Loch Bridge, the Tierkrans Pass where we will see the 7th and 8th rail reverses as well as the defunct railway bridge over the Kraai River; New England; Ballochs Pass; Wartrail Valley and the first challenge pass of the day – Lundean’s Nek (Challenge Pass #5).

Our second new challenge pass will be driven after Lundean’s Nek, which is the Dangershoek Pass (Challenge Pass #6) – the most northerly point of the tour. Our turnaround point is at Dangershoek right on the SA/Lesotho border.

We double back over Lundeans Nek and head for the Funnystone Valley (and we’ll show you how the river got its name) through some beautiful indigenous forests, before tackling the third challenge pass of the day – Volunteershoek (Challenge Pass #7). This pass can be quite tricky in wet weather, but we’ll talk you through it and especially those sections with the old tyres embedded into the road.

We drive all along the top of the mountain ridge past Loch Ness. Bring your “cozzie” along and take a refreshing dip in the chilly waters if you like. We pass the turn-off to Tiffindell and descend to Rhodes via the very steep Carlisleshoekspruit Pass (Challenge Pass #8) to enjoy our penultimate night at the old Rhodes Hotel which dates to 1883, which is a living museum and a fascinating place to browse around. The old original pub is like something from a Bells ad.

Take a walk around the quiet tree lined streets of Rhodes Village and enjoy the tranquillity.


Saturday 7th December

The last day of the tour includes a double traverse of Naude’s Nek Pass (Challenge Pass #9) and the final challenge pass of the tour the Potrivier Pass (Challenge Pass #10). This is the easiest day of the tour mostly on fair quality gravel roads.

We return to the Rhodes Hotel for our final night’s celebrations and prize giving and an evening of good humour as our customary Chappies Awards takes place.


Sunday 8th December

The group departs for home after breakfast.


We will be based at two central points with quality accommodation, superb hospitality and wholesome food, spending a total of 7 nights at our base accommodation, departing again for home on Sunday morning, 8th December, 2024.

KEY DATES

  • Drivers Briefing & Welcoming Party: Sunday 1st December 2024
  • Start: Mountain Shadows Hotel – Monday 2nd December
  • Closing Function & Prize-Giving: Saturday 7th December
  • End of Tour/Departure: Sunday 8th December

All vehicles will be supplied with crystal clear FM marine quality two-way radios so we can communicate with you.

Our routes are always bespoke and you will be guaranteed the trip of a lifetime, packed with facts, folklore, history and engineering snippets – all of it done in a safe, responsible manner.

VEHICLES THAT CAN PARTICIPATE

  • 4×4 only, with low range and good ground clearance.
  • No novice drivers. .
  • We recommend having 4×4 insurance in place whilst on the tour.
  • Maximum of 12 vehicles on this tour.

COST

Tour price (excluding accommodation and meals)

1 Vehicle/1 Person R15,994
1 Vehicle/2 People R16,994
1 Vehicle/3 People R17,994
1 Vehicle/4 People R18,994

Tour price is calculated on number of adults (over 18) per vehicle.

What is included in the price:

  • The price of the tour includes expert guiding, pamphlets, maps, name tags, personalised tour folder, radio hire, standard recovery costs, administration and documentation, but excludes accommodation & food. MPSA arrange everything including dietary requirements.
    You will receive a separate invoice from us for food and accommodation about 3 weeks before the tour.
    We work on a maximum budget of R1390 per person per day on a dinner, bed & breakfast basis.
  • Recovery costs do not include mechanical breakdown, lowbed recovery, but does include towing out of a difficult situation or kinetic recoveries, and assistance with punctures.
  • MPSA arranges every last detail. We send you a packing list of what you need well before the tour. All you have to do is arrive with your ‘padkos’ and snacks and enjoy the tour.

CANCELLATION POLICY

If you cancel more than 60 days ahead of the tour:
* If you are able to resell your place to a friend or family member = 100% refund or 100% credit voucher.
* If we resell your ticket on your behalf = 80% refund or 100% credit voucher

If you cancel between 60 and 30 days before the tour:
* If you are able to resell your place to a friend or family member = 100% refund or 100% credit voucher.
* If we resell your ticket on your behalf = 70% refund or 90% credit voucher

If you cancel less than 30 days before the tour:
* If you are able to resell your place to a friend or family member = 100% refund or 100% credit voucher.
* If we resell your ticket on your behalf = 60% refund or 80% credit voucher

Accommodation & meal refunds:

Invoices are generally sent out between 4 and 6 weeks ahead of the tour start date.
* If you have already received your invoice, you are liable for it, subject to us interacting with the various venues to get you a refund. We pay the venues up front for your accommodation. Most of the establishments are reasonable and offer a full refund. Whatever we can negotiate will be credited to you in full.


Please get in touch with us directly with any questions you may have by email: info@mountainpassessouthafrica.co.za

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The MPSA Shop has a separate login system to the main MPSA website for members.

During your first purchase, your account will be auto-created, using the email address you supply at checkout.

Pax

1 vehicle / 1 person, 1 vehicle / 2 persons, 1 vehicle / 3 persons, 1 vehicle / 4 persons

Shopping Basket